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Philip Slayton


After studying law at Oxford University as a Manitoba Rhodes Scholar, Philip Slayton clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa. Then, for thirteen years, he pursued an academic career, teaching at McGill University and becoming dean of law at the University of Western Ontario. Philip then went into legal practice with a major Canadian law firm in Toronto, and worked on many of the biggest corporate and commercial transactions of the time. He retired from the practice of law in 2000.

Since leaving legal practice, Philip Slayton has written two best-selling books: Lawyers Gone Bad: Money, Sex and Madness in Canada’s Legal Profession, published in hard cover by Viking Canada in 2007, in paperback by Penguin Canada in 2008, and as an ebook in 2010; andMighty Judgment: How the Supreme Court of Canada Runs Your Life, published in hard cover and as an ebook in 2011 by Allen Lane and as a paperback by Penguin Canada in 2012. He is a regular contributor on law-related topics to Canadian magazines and newspapers, including Canadian Lawyer and The Literary Review of Canada. In 2008 and again in 2010, for his legal ethics column in Canadian Lawyer magazine, he was awarded a Kenneth R. Wilson Memorial Award by Canadian Business Press for best regularly featured column.

Philip divides his time between Toronto and Nova Scotia. He is married to the writer Cynthia Wine. In 1998, Oxford University named him a “Distinguished Friend” of the university. Philip is a member of the Quadrangle Society of Massey College, University of Toronto; the Pelee Island Bird Observatory Advisory Board; PEN Canada‘s board (Chair of the National Affairs Committee); the City of Toronto Legacy Project Committee; and the Writers’ Union of Canada. Philip and Cynthia were founders (in 2002) of the Port Medway Readers Festival, a highly successful summer literary festival on Nova Scotia’s South Shore.

Last but not least, Conrad Black has recently written of Philip (in a reply to Philip’s review of a book by Black) that he has “a merciless personality disorder.”

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Lawyers Gone Bad; Money, Sex and Madness in Canada's Legal Profession. Viking Canada, 2007
Mighty Judgment: How the Supreme Court of Canada Runs Your life. Allen Lane, 2011
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